Antitrust Litigator Hausfeld Seeks Millions in Fees from Ex-Firm
Posted Jan 23, 2009 9:23 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
The war of words between Michael Hausfeld and the law firm he once headed has now become a court battle.
When Hausfeld left Cohen Milstein Hausfeld & Toll, he took 17 antitrust lawyers with him, and now he’s also seeking to take possibly millions of dollars in fees, Legal Times reports.
News stories published at the time of the ouster focused on hurt feelings and finger-pointing. Cohen and some partners claimed Hausfeld was ousted due to rifts over his focus on international antitrust work and his control over management. Hausfeld has complained he was dumped without explanation by a note left on his chair.
Now the personal dispute also involves money. In court documents, the law firm now known as Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll says Hausfeld "has claimed fees and expenses in virtually all of Cohen Milstein's cases, regardless of whether Mr. Hausfeld or any of the attorneys at his firm ever worked on those cases," according to the Legal Times story.
Hausfeld won’t discuss specifics, but told Legal Times he believes his former partners dissolved the firm, leading to a dispute over money.
Hausfeld’s new firm is also vying for lead counsel status on antitrust cases handled by his old firm—and winning. The story says the Hausfeld firm now has lead status in a dozen antitrust class actions, and the two firms are sharing the role in two other cases.